Can a Virgin Have an STD?
Can a virgin have a sexually transmitted disease?
Many people would assume that this question can be answered quite simply: “NO!” or “It’s impossible!” If you were one of those people, you might be surprised to learn that a virgin can have and spread STDs. How can that be? After all, if two partners are “virgins,” this means neither has engaged in any sexual activity, right? Not quite.
A common definition for a “virgin” is someone who has never engaged in vaginal intercourse with someone else. However, there are a number of other ways an STD can be transmitted. You don’t even have to take any clothes off to contract an STD.
It is possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease without engaging in vaginal or anal intercourse. There are many other sexual activities that can spread an STD. Outercourse, anal sex, oral sex, and even mutual masturbation are all activities which can lead to the transmission of an STD. Teenagers may experiment with oral sex as a way to explore their sexuality but also to—in their minds—preserve their “virginity.” Oral sex if often considered safer than other alternatives, but there are plenty of risks to consider.
For example, if a person was born with a form of herpes and she engages her partner in oral sex, there is a chance that the partner can contract herpes. As a result, the partner would have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, despite the fact neither one of them had ever engaged in sexual intercourse.
Outercourse, or ‘dry humping,’ as it is more commonly known, is another way sexually transmitted diseases can be spread between partners. There are several types of sexually transmitted infections that only need skin contact to spread. Some forms of herpes and genital warts do not need to be carried by bodily fluids to infect an individual. These sexually transmitted infections can also be spread via oral sex as well, but their likelihood of survival in that environment decreases dramatically.
There are some non-sexual activities that can cause sexually transmitted diseases and infections to spread between couples as well. Couples that share bath towels run the risk of transmitting infectious bacteria between themselves, even though they did not engage in a sexual activity. The most common type of STD that can be transmitted through the sharing of towels is known as “crabs,” or more scientifically, pubic lice. An otherwise-healthy partner can be sharing a bath towel with someone who is infected. The bacteria remain trapped on the bath towel until they come into contact with another individual’s skin, and the infection process begins.
How can you know for sure that someone is a virgin?
The most important part of this discussion is the one point that has yet to be made–most people are not truthful when it comes to discussing their sexual history. A man might have ulterior motives when he tells his partner that he has not engaged in any sexual activity. Some possible motives involve self-gratification (it’s easier to have sex with a woman if the woman doesn’t think her man is a health risk!), or avoiding an embarrassing conversation. The point is that it is imperative that couples talk about their previous sexual histories as a healthy and natural part of their relationship. Nobody wants to be lied to, especially about something as important as sexual health and history.
It is important to remember that as couples begin their sexual journey with each other, there should be a level of trust and mutual respect at the outset, otherwise neither partner will have the safety and security they deserve. Couples that have not taken part in sexual activities before should take the time to educate themselves about the dangers of not being careful and using protection. Contraceptives should be a part of any couple’s sexual relationship. Individuals who don’t use condoms or other forms of protection triple the probability of winding up with a sexually transmitted disease. Furthermore, couples–especially younger couples–should seek information from public health organizations about testing, clinics, and what to look out for when becoming sexually active.
How else can STDs be spread?
STDs can be spread by a number of other non-sexual activities including blood transfusions, rendering first aide, and the sharing of dirty or infected needles. No matter how much we want to blind ourselves to the fact the United States has had a devastating drug problem for decades, that does not change the fact that an individual who has never had sex, but has used dirty needles, is at risk for contracting STDs. These needles carry a big risk of transmitting bacteria that can cause life-threatening sexually transmitted infections and diseases. While you may think it is unlikely that someone would start using intravenous needles to shoot drugs before they begin engaging in sexual activity, the possibility remains.
How can I protect myself?
It’s always important to use protection while having sex, be open and honest with your sexual partners, and get tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.